“If it turns out that the explosives found were Semtex…”

In a major police operation on the eve of Constable Ronan Kerr’s funeral the PSNI seized a quantity of weapons and explosives in Coalisland, County Tyrone – which they have described as “the most significant in recent years”.  Which was interesting timing…

There have been two arrests in connection with Constable Kerr’s murder and further searches in the north Dublin area.

From the BBC report

The arms found were:

• Four Kalashnikov rifles

• Six loaded ammunition magazines

• Timer power units

• Detonators

• Incendiary bombs

• Components for rocket launchers and other explosive devices

• Quantity of explosives, possibly Semtex

As BBC NI home affairs correspondent, Vincent Kearney, adds

It has been a significant length of time since the police have uncovered an arms haul of this quantity and variety.

If it turns out that the explosives found were Semtex it will raise questions about whether dissidents have a new supply line or have access to explosives which formerly belonged to the Provisional IRA.

That possibility makes the delayed publication of the IICD and IMC reports all the more interesting.

Adds  Worth noting also that when Semtex was used in an attack in 2008 the PSNI ruled out the possibility of a new supply.  Subsequent to that attack, 2.5kg of Semtex, detonators, and ammunition were recovered by Gardaí in County Meath.